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You might be looking at the title of this article and thinking to yourself, “hilarious pun, but what is goat yoga?” Well, goat yoga is exactly what it sounds like: yoga with goats. While this might seem like a hokey fad, there is actually quite a bit of evidence to support the benefits of goat yoga for your mental health and overall wellness.
So let’s break it down. For most of us, spending time with animals is a super easy and quick boost of serotonin. According to GoatYoga.net, these are some of the mental health benefits of animal assisted therapy:
- Just petting animals releases a relaxation response
- Humans interacting with animals have found that petting the animal promoted the release of serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin- all hormones that can play a part in elevating moods
- Lowers anxiety and helps people relax
- Provides comfort
- Reduces loneliness
- Increases mental stimulation
- Can provide an escape or happy distraction
- Can act as catalysts in the therapy process
- May help break the ice
- May reduce anxiety
Combine this with the known physical and mental health benefits of yoga, such as stretching, mindfulness, cardiovascular health, reduced back pain, relaxation and meditation, and you have a sure-fire recipe for feeling great.
Now you might be thinking to yourself “what exactly happens during goat yoga? Am I doing yoga, or are the goats?” Another great question. Seeing as it would be hard to explain the concept of yoga to a goat, it is you who practices the yoga. The goats simply roam around the room, sometimes jumping on the backs of unsuspecting yogis, while they enhance the overall yoga experience and provide a great deal of entertainment. This video gives you the inside scoop about what a goat yoga session looks like and can provide you with more information about this unique form of yoga practice.
Whether you’re new to yoga or an experienced yoga practitioner, goat yoga is a fun way to move your body while interacting with some adorable barnyard animals. Goat out there and try it out for yourself!